Research Activity per Year


Personal Profile

Robin Burton is a member of the Complex Decision Analysis Group in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center. In this role she provides project leadership, conducts research and analysis, and engages stakeholders for a portfolio of projects related to renewable energy deployment across sectors and jurisdictional scales, with a focus on community engagement and energy justice. Current and recent projects include support for community-led long-term energy planning for Lahaina after the wildfires in August 2023, modeling pathways to 100% renewable energy for Puerto Rico, and increasing equitable access to community solar across the U.S. Additional research interests include environmental and health impacts of renewable energy adoption, land use considerations and solutions including co-location of solar with agriculture, and the circularity of energy materials.

Ms. Burton joined NREL in 2018 after completing her Master of Public Health with dual concentrations in environmental and global health. Her capstone project was on potential health effects of exposure to oil and gas wastewater and included a policy recommendation for decision makers in Colorado. Her career before graduate school includes eight years with Whole Foods Market, first as environmental coordinator in the Rocky Mountain Region, and then as assistant store manager at stores in Colorado, Hawaii, and California. Robin began her career in recycling and resource conservation for a nonprofit in Boulder.

Research Interests

Environmental health and sustainable development

Circular economy for energy materials

Energy-water-food nexus

Stakeholder engagement

Professional Experience

Associate Store Team Leader (Assistant Store Manager), Whole Foods Market, multiple locations (Superior, CO, Honolulu, HI, Kailua, HI, Berkeley, CA) (2008-2016)

Green Mission Coordinator (Environmental Coordinator), Whole Foods Market, Rocky Mountain Region (2008)

Zero Waste Services Coordinator, Eco-Cycle, Boulder, CO (2003-2007)

Education/Academic Qualification

Master, Environmental & Occupational Health and Global Health, Colorado School of Public Health

Bachelor, Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and Women’s Studies, Vassar College


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